Nothing says rich flavors and happy vibes like Hispanic Heritage Month! This year we celebrate Peruvian, Cuban, Mexican and all other Latin American cultures with 2 of our favorite restaurants in the Bay Area and 1 winner recipe to add to your menu.
Hispanic Is Our Culture
One of the reasons we love celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month so much is because it feels so close to home. With over 15 million Latino residents living in California alone, it’s only natural to see this culture as who we are as Americans.
Add to that the fact that hispanic cuisine means colorful dishes, take-out friendly and often wallet-friendly dishes. No wonder that Hispanic restaurants are just killing it.
Mexican restaurants in particular are doing great in California and elsewhere in the US. As of 2021, there are about 48,000 Mexican restaurants in the US, up by 3,000 since 2019. Texas and California are in the lead with 18% Mexican restaurants.
With roughly 80% of hispanic restaurants being independent (the rest being chains like Taco Bell, Chipotle), we had our concerns during COVID-19. But happily, many hispanic restaurants, including some of our favorite joints in the Bay Area, emerged with flying colors.
Hispanic Restaurants We Love at Cheetah
Each of the thousands of Cheetah customers across California and the Bay Area has a unique story. With Mexican style restaurants being a significant portion of our client base, we are proud to celebrate diversity.
Here are 2 independent Mexican restaurants we especially love for their style, history and overall commitment to the positive Mexican spirit.
El Toreador, West Portal, SF
El Toreador is an extremely colorful and vibrant mom and pop restaurant in West Portal, San Francisco. The moment you step through the door you feel transported to a Mexican fiesta.
Founded in 1957, and bought by Columbians Esperanza Mahan and her husband in 1980, El Toreador has become a pillar of the local community. Aaron, Esperanza’s oldest son, who manages the restaurant together with his brother, says they often see three generations of diners frequent their tables.
Esperanza’s late husband was a designer and the restaurant became his canvas. The funky multicolor interior design will keep you and your kids busy, until the food arrives that is. El Toreador serves large affordable portions and they make their own signature mole and salsa. Their drinks menu boasts over 100 labels of beer from all around Latin America, and locals never miss the special sangria and frozen margaritas.
Don’t miss out on the enchiladas de mole poblano with a frozen mango margarita. They’re our personal favorite!
TACORGASMICO, The Castro, SF
Eduardo Sandoval opened Tacorgasmico in April of 2015 and his restaurant quickly fit right in with the other saucy and sassy establishments of the Castro.
Originally from Guanajuato in central Mexico, Eduardo comes from a long line of restauranerus. His family owns the La Corneta taqueria chain sprinkled around the Bay Area. From an early age he started working at taquerias all around town and quickly rose through the ranks, from mopping floors to cooking and eventually managing.
Eduardo is adamant about making all his ‘simple Mexican pleasures’ by hand, and even the authentic murals on the walls were created by local artists to inspire a dia e los muertos vibe.
At the onset of the pandemic, true to the entrepreneurial spirit, Tacoorgasmico pivoted to takeout and added breakfast options. And the result – business is booming. All staff are back on the payroll thanks to very loyal, and hungry, customers.
Our menu favorite – Yucatan style slow cooked Cochinita Pibil. Trust us.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Cheetah
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at your restaurant? These new takes on classic dishes will go a long way to drive interest.
Try adding a touch of diversity to your menu with some of the wonderful core ingredients of hispanic cuisine, like tortillas, frijoles, corn, queso fresco and of course, the revered avocado, pepper and tomato. And don’t forget the drinks menu!
Check out the huge variety of restaurant products and hispanic ingredients on our online catalog, just waiting to be delivered to your doorstep. Order anything from corn husks for your take on tamales, to tortillas galore from spinach flavor to whole wheat, peppers and guacamole, queso fresco and succulent sirloin for a perfect carne asada.
Need some inspiration? Here’s a recipe for you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage at your restaurant.
Winning Hispanic Recipe to Add to Your Menu
We’re excited to introduce this brand new recipe that offers n exciting take on Shrimp Tacos. Have a vegetarian or flexitarian to feed? Check out these completely meatless, juicy tacos! Not only are these tacos a great way to diversify your menu, but it’s a dish with great potential net revenue! Give these a try, try your own twist on the recipe, and let us know how it comes out!
Flexitarian Shrimp Tacos (3 tacos)
2 oz Shredded Green Cabbage ($0.16)
3 ea Ozuna Local White Corn Tortillas, 6 inch ($0.27)
12 ea New Wave Plant Based Shrimp ($4.98)
2 oz Diced Red Onion ($0.10)
2 oz Honey Chipotle Mayo ($0.55)
0.5 oz Chopped Cilantro ($0.01)
1 ea Grilled Lime Half ($0.08)
1 ea Roast Woks Flame Roasted Corn on the Cob ($0.51)
Honey Chipotle Mayo (about 1 Quart)
4 cup Plant Based Mayo ($6.01)
8 ea Chipotle peppers in Adobo (~$1.10)
8 clove Peeled Garlic ($0.03)
0.25 cup Adobo Sauce (~$0.15)
2 tsp Salt ($0.01)
4 ea Limes, zest and juice only ($0.64)
0.25 cup Honey ($0.92)
- The chipotle mayo can be made a few days ahead of service and goes great on a variety of things so cross utilize as much as possible. Simply throw all ingredients into processor and blitz until smooth. Adjust with salt and acid to taste.
- Get your limes halved, cilantro chopped and your mis lined up.
- Cabbage can be purchased pre-shredded, costs are above.
- In a screaming hot pan with canola oil lay your thawed shrimp down and hit it with some salt and pepper, and a gentle kiss of lemon juice.
- On your hot tortillas (i like them char grilled), layer your shrimp, cabbage, pickled onion, chipotle mayo, and cilantro ensuring each pop of color is not lost under the last.
- Garnish your plate with your grilled lime, and warm fire roasted corn. Natural wood planks or Black slate plates look fantastic with this dish, use ’em if you got ’em!
- In case you didn’t know, Californians love their avocado. It’s a great addition but make sure you charge accordingly, the avocado market is very volatile in the fall and winter months.
Rough Costs Per Plate
- Total Cost: ~$6.82/plate
- Suggested Sell Price: $16.00 – $19.00 for 3 tacos